Today marks 10th anniversary of Windows XP RTM

How time flies. Ten years ago today, Windows XP released to manufacturing, and if it wasn't for the fact we had changed over from one database to another, we could recall our coverage of Microsoft deploying a helicopter to take the gold master build of Windows XP to Dell and HP, among others. Neowin's coverage a month later, when XP was released to the world, is however still available for reading.

On August 24th, 2001 Windows XP was released to manufacturing. A huge step forward for Microsoft - finally they had a consumer operating system based on the NT kernel. There was a small ceremony during which Bill Gates and Jim Allchin signed off the 'gold code' in front of journalists, then placed it into a briefcase and had it flown off in a helicopter to bring the new OS to the OEMs. The plan was to make the OS available to the general public on October 25th, with a major launch event in NYC. Unfortunately for MS, two things happened: 1. The attacks of September 11th, as a consequence of which the launch party had to be scaled down massively, and 2. this:

Users had Windows XP in their hands much earlier than planned. Can we have a show of hands of those who used the devils0wn release back then? That's what I thought...

Windows XP quickly became a success, running on up to 80% of all PCs at some point. It also came under attack by malware - a problem which made Microsoft focus their efforts on the 'Secure Computing' initiative, the result of which was Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Even today Windows XP still runs on approx. 40-50% of all PCs (although that percentage is inflated by the market share it still has in countries like China). Even on a technical forum like Neowin there are still those who voluntarily use Windows XP. To each their own I guess - personally I've long relegated XP to virtual machines.

Happy Birthday, Windows XP. You've been mostly good to us, Sasser et al. notwithstanding. It is time for you to retire though and make room for your more modern successors.

Do you have any Windows XP memories? Please feel free to comment below.

Thanks to Mephistopheles for this article, which was submitted in our forum earlier today.

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I bought a HP Pavilion (1.2 GHz Athlon, 128 MB RAM, 32MB Nvidia)), pre-loaded with Windows ME, ahead of the launch, and requested the free upgrade as soon as available. This computer still runs today with 1GB of RAM.

* Finally my very own machine running the NT kernel!
* The fresh install was a treat. Does anyone remember the music that was played and the animation? It was just cool.
* I loved the visual styles. I found a way to patch uxtheme.dll almost immediately. The only two applications that themed properly soon afterwards were Winzip and Netscape. It was a disappointment that Office XP didn't theme properly.
* Remember Passport.net, the integrated Messenger, MSN Explorer (LOL)?
* The new Start Menu.
* CD burning, Yeah!

Those were the days!

FCKGW-RHQQ2 :-P

The all-in-one keygen. Tom even gave a hint on the forum, posted a screenie? (if I am not wrong)

I remember it. It got me to pick up a new computer at the time. I believe it was a Dell 8100. Overall, I would say that it was a good experience, though a bit rough around the edges in the beginning. Third parties were not exactly quick to embrace it. I remember having a nightmare of a time getting an ATI Wonder card to work with it (though it had no issue with Win2k).

I was never really a fan of the candy (luna) interface, though I honestly hated the classic look more since it had been around since 1995 (well, before if you count the Chicago beta).

For many, however, the memory might not be that old. I don't remember it really catching on in enterprise until late 2004 or early 2005.

I still remember the charm of installing new themes on Windows XP, which required quite a bit of tweaks until of course, patches came by.......in fact, just few days back I installed Windows XP theme on my Windows 7 machine...absolutely loved it! <3

brings me fun memories of luna theme and how i keep changing it everyday with windowblinds and transformation packs eventually frikkin up the system. happy 10th and rest in peace

In other XP-related news, 2509 leaked today... I wonder if it was in honor of this occasion? Check it out on BetaArchive, don't think we're allowed to link to pirating-related stuff...

MASTER260 said,
In other XP-related news, 2509 leaked today... I wonder if it was in honor of this occasion? Check it out on BetaArchive, don't think we're allowed to link to pirating-related stuff...

Just working this time.

Ah, yes.... I so remember the MSBlast virus.... Although it wasn't really a virus, but yeah, that was fun to go fix at everyone's place.... *sigh*

FWIW,
XP is STILL king as far as number of computers it's in use on, as you all know and it states in the story!!

Was and still is a great OS, if that is as far as your computer can go as far as upgrading it, or, if you are unable to afford a new one, as so many of us can't. With it being supported until 2014, lots of reason for LOTS of people not to change.

I still have one XP computer here myself, along with 8 Windows 7 boxes!! Technically, I could say 9 Windows 7's as one computer has 2 versions installed on 2 seperate hard drives!

I currently still have to use today as Windows XP Mode, because my GPRS modem which I use to connect to the Internet is not compatible with Windows 7 64 bit.

I remember it well, even though I was running betas before. It was when my, otherwise complete computer illiterate, mother started talking about windows for some reason.. and I thought.. ' Damn Gates, you are good' ;^)

Damn. I'm getting old.

This means I'll remember the release of XP as I remember today the day I'm 40+. Ugh.

Edit: As for memories, my best memory of XP was that I could finally move to NT. That was a major move!

Northgrove said,
Damn. I'm getting old.

This means I'll remember the release of XP as I remember today the day I'm 40+. Ugh.

Edit: As for memories, my best memory of XP was that I could finally move to NT. That was a major move!

XP was king when it was released. I agree with your edit... I felt the same at the time. Stability ftw!

FalsePositive said,
It's been a downward spiral since Win2K.

Oh look, someone afraid of change. Do you still use chamberpots and wood burning stoves too?

FalsePositive said,
It's been a downward spiral since Win2K.

I'm unsure why? The look & feel? You want everything to stay Windows 95? Even that is not really a problem, since the DWM and theming engine can be disabled with its resources freed from memory. Even from the standard Windows UI, no tinkering required.

Voila, a much more capable Windows 2000. While Windows 2000 was a major accomplishment, it's hopelessly antiquated today, lacking security features, modern, powerful hardware/architecture support, and hardware acceleration features that most of us expect today.

FalsePositive said,
It's been a downward spiral since Win2K.

No man, MS-DOS 5.0 was the pinnacle of operating systems!

I remember upgrading from windows ME to a beta of Whistler - and it was still a MASSIVE improvement on stability.

Coming from a 98/Me pc Windows XP was a fresh experience. It was also where I learned to load drivers from inf files to get my audio card working (Old CMI) since no XP drivers where available for it yet.

I remember having to use a driver from a beta build for the RTM version, because my HP 100MB NIC wasn't supported in the final release and all the troubles it took to get it working Now I'd just go out and get a new card, lol.

One of the best articles I have seen written on Neowin.

No stupid commentary or bias. You other journalists, learn to write like this :\

articuno1au said,
One of the best articles I have seen written on Neowin.

No stupid commentary or bias. You other journalists, learn to write like this :\

You don't find this stupid?

> Even today Windows XP still runs on approx. 40-50% of all PCs (although that percentage is inflated by the market share it still has in countries like China).

Does China not count?

Another stupid thing is to have the key blurred out in the picture...why? The key's long been blacklisted, and is useless today. And I wouldn't necessarily present it as being an "unfortunately" thing for Microsoft--arguably it may have helped XP's adoption.

_dandy_ said,

You don't find this stupid?

> Even today Windows XP still runs on approx. 40-50% of all PCs (although that percentage is inflated by the market share it still has in countries like China).

Does China not count?

Another stupid thing is to have the key blurred out in the picture...why? The key's long been blacklisted, and is useless today. And I wouldn't necessarily present it as being an "unfortunately" thing for Microsoft--arguably it may have helped XP's adoption.

Of course China counts, but the illegal copies being sold for a few bucks inflates the numbers considerably. The statement could reference the level of piracy, but otherwise I have no issues with the content.